Rangers secure Scottish third-tier football title

JOSH REICH
Last updated 11:30 13/03/2014
Lee McCulloch
Getty Images
TITLE TIME: Captain Lee McCulloch scored a first-half hat-trick, including two from the penalty spot, as Rangers secured Scottish football's third-tier title with a 3-0 victory over Airdrieonians.

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Rangers took another step in their climb back to Scotland's top flight when the Old Firm giants secured the League One title with eight matches remaining following a 3-0 win over Airdrieonians on Wednesday (local time).

Captain Lee McCulloch scored twice from the penalty spot and once from open play as the hosts wrapped up the scoring at Ibrox before halftime.

Rangers, Scottish champions a record 54 times, were forced to relaunch from the fourth tier in 2012 after collapsing under a pile of debt, a fall from grace which sent shockwaves through the Scottish game.

The Glasgow club, who secured immediate promotion from the fourth tier last season, claimed back-to-back titles after winning 26 and drawing two of their 28 games as they built an unbeatable 26-point lead over second-placed Dunfermline.

The success came as a welcome relief for manager Ally McCoist after the team came in for criticism following Sunday's lacklustre 1-1 draw with League Two Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.

Rangers ran up an operating loss of £14 million (NZ$27.3 million) last season and have been subject to off-field struggles involving the board and investors as they seek further funds.

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- Reuters

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